Letty Landon Author:Helen Ashton The strange Victorian Romance of a lovely moth who fluttered too close to the literary flame. — "This dead woman haunts me. I think about her continually, asking myself what bond was between her and the Governor, why she married that unhappy man, what she really thought of his sea-washed African fort in her eight weeks' sojourn there; most of all... more » I wonder how she came by her mysterious and violent death..." With these provocative words, Helen Ashton introduces the reader to a strange, long-forgotten story which was the talk of all London in the late 1830's.
Letty Landon, or L.E.L. as she signed herself, was a success at sixteen with her sentimental poems in imitation of Lord Byron. As a pretty young thing, she was a familiar figure in the literary world in the days when Thackeray, Dickens, Disraeli and Tennyson were struggly young authors, when velvet-bound Annuals lay on every table and Bulwer's "Last Days of Pompeii" was a best-seller.
But in what competitive, back-biting world, even such an amiable person as Letty did not go unscathed forever. She had made rash friendships - she had been too trusting. Malicious gossip had prevented one marriage for her. Perhaps that is why she refused to listen to rumors of his evil past when dour George Maclean singled her out for his strange devotion. Whatever her reasons, she sailed with him for the Gold Coast and London never saw her again.
With her fascinating re-creation of a life which takes on mystery in the light of an inexplicable marriage and a sudden, violent death, Helen Ashton gives us telling glimpses of a hectic and colorful period in literary history. Though it has quite a different leading lady, Miss Ashton's many readers will find her new novel just as enthralling as "Parson Austen's Daughter".